Effects of unsupported arm training on arm exercise-related perception in COPD patients

I. Romagnoli, G. Scano, B. Binazzi, C. Coli, G. Innocenti Bruni, L. Stendardi, F. Gigliotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We hypothesized that arm training might affect unsupported arm exercise-related perception by decreasing motor output to arm/torso muscles in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Eleven patients were studied at 80% of peak incremental arm exercise, before and after unsupported arm training. Training increased endurance time, decreased respiratory effort and much more arm effort (by Borg scale) without affecting chest wall dynamic hyperinflation or configuration. Ventilatory response to carbon dioxide output was the same before and after training so that at isotime the reduction in ventilation correlated strongly with a simultaneous reduction in metabolic output. These changes reflect a reduced ventilatory drive. We conclude that: (i) a reduced level of ventilation, relative to a decrease in central motor output, is the contribution of arm training to symptom alleviation during unsupported arm exercise in COPD patients, and (ii) arm training improved patients' exercise-related perception without affecting chest wall operational volumes or configuration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2013


  • Arm effort
  • Breathing pattern
  • Dynamic hyperinflation
  • Dyspnea
  • Operational volumes
  • Optoelectronic plethysmography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

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